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27 - السَّمِيعُ

Bint e Aisha

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 السَّمِيعُ is translated as The All-Hearing and The Ever-Listening. Literally it means The One Who Hears everything but translated in different ways by different Scholars. 



It is not just The One Who Listens but also The One Who Accepts. In Ruku’ we say,

 سَمِعَ اللهُ لِمَنْ حَمِدَه - Allah listens to the one who praises Him, Our Lord, to You be praise.
Allah ta’ala answers / accepts the prayers of the one who praises Him. 


Allah ta’ala’s listening / answering / accepting is not similar to anything else in Makhlooq, meaning when we think of the concept of listening, we think of ears and He is beyond having a face, ears, eyes, etc. which human beings and animals have. Allah ta’ala’s listening is beyond that and He listens to all of Makhlooq, to what they say and what they do not say i.e. the feelings of the heart. His listening to them is one to one and it is clear with no translation necessary.


In the Qur’an

It is mentioned 45 times in the Qur’an in different ways. It is often paired with الْعَلِيمُ.


وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ - He is the Hearer, the Knower. [Surah An’aam: 13]


رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ السَّمِيعُ العَلِيمُ 

Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us: For Thou art the All-Hearing, the All-knowing [Surah Baqarah:127]


It is also often paired with الْبَصِيرُ. 


لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ ۖ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

There is no one like Him. He Alone hears all and sees all. [Ash-Shura:11]


It also comes as The One Who Listens and is close.   


إِنَّهُ سَمِيعٌ قَرِيبٌ - Surely He hears all and is very close. [Surah Sab: 50]
Allah ta’ala listens to everything in the universe. 


وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ

When my servants question you about Me, tell them that I am very close to them. I answer the prayer of every suppliant when he calls Me; therefore, they should respond to Me and put their trust in Me, so that they may be rightly guided. 
[Surah Baqarah: 186]


Human’s ability to Hear / Listen

Allah ta’ala gave human beings the ability to listen and this is mentioned in the Qur’an in different ways.


وَاللَّهُ أَخْرَجَكُمْ مِنْ بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ ۙ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

Allah brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers when you knew nothing, and He gave you hearing, sight and intelligence so that you may give thanks to Him. [Surah Nahl: 78]


Allah ta’ala mentions that He gave us these faculties to hear and see and to feel. Scholars have explained it in a beautiful way that: السَّمْعَ  - He gave us ears so that we listen to the Naseehah with the intention to learn and become closer to Allah ta’ala and so that a person can attain wisdom and وَالْأَبْصَارَ  - to see the evidences and signs of Allah ta’ala, وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ - in order to understand the greatness of Allah ta’ala i.e. to understand with the heart and not through rationality. The result would be that the person shows gratitude.


Listening is one of the most important faculties in human beings as most of what we learn in the world is through listening. When a child is born, it learns the language by listening even before it can speak. If a child is born deaf and it is not picked up early, it becomes very difficult for the child to speak even though nothing is wrong with the brain. Since the child has not heard anything, it cannot speak. It is through the ears that we access the information and attain education as most of language is oral.


Being a good listener is also very important. It is an art. Today we have a communication problem and it’s through listening with the heart that communication channels remain open. 


Therefore human beings share in this trait of Allah ta’ala though obviously on a very limited level. 



We should do Shukr for the ability to hear / listen and use that ability to attain Naseehah. There are two words in the Arabic language, one is Sami’ – to listen / hear and another is Istima’ – to listen actively. It is used in the Qur’an and Hadith in terms of listening actively to the Qur’an i.e. to pay attention to His word and the Naseehah.


We should use the faculty of listening to get Naseehah and also to be good listeners and this will make our lives and relationships better. 



سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ is used a lot in the Masnoon Du’as. 



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